Sand Dollar Press Inc.
[January 10, 2012]
Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.
So, I liked this book. It was fairly entertaining but...I definitely had some issues.
Eden and Bramford are pretty much the two main characters. On their own? Pretty decent characters. Both had their annoying moments, but still, not bad. However, together? Highly annoying. These two were very much at each other's throats at times, and then they were lovey-dovey-cuddly. It really bothered me to see these two have such extreme back and forths within a chapter. It wasn't realistic and it made me not want the two characters to be together. Eden's father also irks me, but I can't fully explain that. But the other characters? Well crafted, interesting, relatable. I really liked the other characters.
The world building was pretty good. Where Eden and Bramford and her father had lived wasn't described as much as I'd like and I never fully understood how it got so bad on Earth besides a vague "humans took advantage of the earth," but in the rain forest, things were highly descriptive and things made sense there. It was very interesting to see. But mostly, I was curious as to how the world got that way.
The story itself was kind of overshadowed by the Eden/Bramford relationship, for me. What I did catch was interesting, but also slightly vague. I did like that it was somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I wasn't as interested in it as I wanted to be. Maybe it's because the Eden and Bramford relationship bothered me so much and it was such a big part of the story, but I just wasn't captured by this. By time I was almost done reading, I kind of dreaded going to pick it up because I just wanted to move on.
This was very much just an okay book for me. It wasn't special, really kind of annoying at times. If I had to rate it, it'd probably be a 2 and a half stars out of 5. Some of you may like this book, but it just wasn't for me. If the summary interests you, though, definitely give it a try.